As a leader and mentor of the fly fishing world, Brian Chou brings unique facets of creativity, strategy, and ingenuity to the fly fishing industry. Combining creativity and tradition, he is always looking to further himself, while leading the way as a maverick of science and functionality. With years of experience as a product designer/industry consultant, professional fly tier/photographer, guide/certified casting instructor, full time family man and entrepreneur, he still carves out the time to help those who are willing to further their journey.
“You’re only so smart as what you choose to share” – Brian Chou
Jacob is a civil servant and a role model in his community that others can look to for leadership and support. As a veteran of the US Navy, he served as a Cryptologist aboard the USS Enterprise during the OEF/OIF campaigns in the Persian Gulf. He now makes Portland, OR his home and is employed with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. Jacob is an avid fly fisherman who spends his time helping others learn the rivers and make that lifelong connection with our public lands. In addition to Love is King, Jacob also serves on the board of Soul River with Chad Brown and Brian Chou. When he’s not wearing waders, you can find him on a road trip in eastern Oregon with this wife Sarah and their dog Nova.
James Edward Mills is a freelance journalist who specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving, and practices of sustainable living. He has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer, and photographer. He is the author of the book “The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors” and the co-writer/co-producer of the documentary film An American Ascent. James has written for the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison Magazine, and Wisconsin Trails. He is currently a contributor to several outdoor-focused print and online publications such as National Geographic Adventure, Rock & Ice, Alpinist, SUP, Elevation Outdoors, Women’s Adventure, the Clymb, Park Advocate, High Country News, U.S. Park Pass, Land & People, Outside Magazine and The Guardian
Born and raised on the Southwest side of Chicago. Currently live on the glorious Mid-Coast of Maine. I’m an avid fisherman, hiker, kayaker, paddle boarder and amateur surfer. I’m an artist and writer, father, husband and grandfather. For my entire life I have been a successful brand strategist and creative director for Fortune 500 brands like Nike, Sony, Jet Blue, Abbott labs and Procter & Gamble. I also work for free with non-profits and local start-ups. I own an agency Hoopla Communications, the name says it all. I like to do big work, meaningful work and have an impact, life is too short and we all have a lot of real work to do, things can always be better. I have learned many lessons in the branding and marketing world that I carry with me and share with my peers and clients. I attended the Art Institute of Chicago and I have a working art studio where you’ll find me if I’m not wandering the shoreline checking the tide looking feeding striped bass with fly rod in hand. I’m passionate and I take my work and my life seriously, always looking to improve.
Will grew up roaming the woods of New Hampshire and moved to Seattle to escape the snow and mosquitos (and marry the love of his life). After working as a “big firm” lawyer, then as in-house counsel for a multinational Fortune 500 company, Will is now the principal at a boutique law firm which counsels start-up, emerging, and Fortune 500 companies in the chemical and technology industries. He also has a novel in the works.
An avid outdoorsman, Will is a life member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and a past board member of the Ballard, Washington Ducks Unlimited chapter. Will also served as coach, board member, and counsel to the Board of Directors of the Magnolia United Youth Lacrosse Association.
Being a “consumptive user” of the outdoors, Will has a deep love and dedication to protecting our environment and wild places, and sharing outdoor experiences with others. Will is a passionate advocate for the mission of LIK: helping all folks feel comfortable and welcome in the outdoors so they can experience, love and help protect OUR wilderness. Will lives in Seattle and on Vashon Island, Washington, with his wife and two kids, and is currently planning the logistics for his next fishing and hunting adventures.
Clara is an avid rock climber and outdoor enthusiast, and is passionate about protecting and conserving our natural resources. During sending season, you can find her at Smith Rock State Park 5-6 days a week. Trained as a scientist, she moved into public health after spending several years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. She now works as a healthcare consultant who advises clients on understanding, navigating, and advocating for federal and state policies and regulations. She has a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and a Masters in Public Administration from NYU. In her spare time, she is also an active Deschutes County Search and Rescue Volunteer and lives in Bend.
Mick is a writer, photographer, and strategy consultant specializing in business design, marketing communications, and impact measurement and management. Over the past twenty years, her professional and artistic work has largely been focused on promoting promising ideas for restoring connection between human society and the natural world.
Since 1998, Mick has worked in the United States, Europe, East Africa, and South Asia, with both non-profit and for-profit social ventures, and she has facilitated the growth of early-stage capacity-building and income-generating initiatives serving the underprivileged and the rural poor.
From 2009 – 2015, Mick led REEF Reports (Realizing the Ecosystem Effects of Finance™), a strategy consulting company she founded in response to the growth of impact investing which was unlocking significant sums of private investment capital to complement public resources and philanthropy in addressing pressing global challenges. REEF partnered with social enterprises, impact investors, foundations, academic institutions, and international development organizations (projects, teams, and networks) to design an “impact practice” to improve performance, attract capital, inform investment decisions, engage stakeholders, and influence policy.
Mick’s public speaking engagements in the U.S. and internationally have expanded awareness of the need for a sharper focus on the world’s women farmers. In 2012 and 2013, she was invited to present her research on the subject at the UN’s 56th and 57th Commissions on the Status of Women. In 2014, she was appointed Representative to the United Nations to advocate for the empowerment of women and girls through life-long education.
Since 2015, the year her first book was published on women leaders of India, Mick has worked for the REI Co-op, the largest consumer cooperative in the U.S. She currently leads REI’s experience business, philanthropic strategy, public policy and advocacy initiatives, and cross-sector stewardship projects in Oregon and Southwest Washington. She is based in Portland, OR.
Amira is a millennial Black-American woman with extensive experience in government policy, collaborative problem solving, and community empowerment. Her current job as a Natural Resources Policy Advisor for Governor Brown allows her to have a variety of issues under her policy portfolio, including agriculture, outdoor recreation, environmental quality, land use, fish and wildlife, sustainability, environmental justice, housing, and health.
Before working for Governor Brown, Amira has built her career in the private and non-profit sectors, having served as a policy director for Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, the Policy and Advocacy Director for the Urban League of Portland, and a policy analyst and legislative liaison for
Lew Frederick. Amira has a law degree from Lewis & Clark, Northwestern School of Law, where she also earned a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and dance from Skidmore College.
A passionate environmentalist, Amira has held many leadership positions over the years with various environmental organizations, including the Environmental Professionals of Color, the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Oregon Environmental Council. She sits on the Board of Governors for the City Club of Portland and serves as a Commissioner for the City of Portland Charter Review Commission. Amira is also a recent recipient of the 2020 Women of Achievement Award from the Oregon Commission for Women.
Solamon Ibe is a Portlander who has been working in various capacities of community development ever since his teen years. He has worked for national and small grassroots organizations as well as local government and brings a wealth of experience. Solamon is a futurist and a visionary with a passion for mobilizing our collective energy into real sustainable systemic change.